Christine Chen | Searching for BS


Farewell Column by Christine Chen | Four years of focusing on one goal can put things into perspective


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Christine Chen



Last year, someone brilliant named Jared McDonald came up with some excellent ideas for Daily Pennyslvanian senior column writers. Some of my favorites were:

“13. Pretend you designed the SEPTA subway system. Justify your existence.”

“28. One word: memes.”

And of course:

“29. Two words: Wharton memes.”

As much as I’d love to write my column using only Wharton memes, none of these tidbits caught my eye as much as this gem:

“7. Write a piece of semi-autobiographical detective fiction.”

Indulge me a little.

So with the obligatory, but no less heartfelt, thanks to everyone at the DP (Matt, I truly am thankful for you, even though you got to say it first last Thanksgiving), my friends, my professors and my family, I shall begin my fiction.

***

Alexandria Hampton had always been a fan of dogs. Really — they were so adorable and fluffy, and who wouldn’t love those wagging tails? And so it was that, during a visit to the local pet shop, Alex fell in love with the most adorable corgi ever. And, in honor of her recent acceptance into Wharton and because the corgi really was a handsome young dog she promptly named him Bachelor Science, or BS for short.

However, when September rolled around and Alex was about to become a Penn freshman, she discovered, much to her dismay, that pets weren’t allowed in the dorms. So Alex’s parents took the adorable corgi home with them with the promise that BS would be Alex’s once she graduated.

With the promise of BS waiting for her, Alex slaved for three years over group projects and 20-page papers, over stat homework and status reports, until, finally, she reached her senior year.

Of course, she hadn’t been working hard the entire time during her three years leading up to senior year — she’d made friends and joined clubs. She’d even joined the school newspaper, which she proudly pointed out to her parents.

But halfway through senior year, when her parents came to visit one weekend, poor BS went missing.

Alex was absolutely distraught. “Where’s my BS?” she would cry late at night, hoping he might come back to her. “Where could he be?” She secluded herself in her room, refusing to see anyone, emerging only to use the microwave to heat up whatever leftovers were still edible in her fridge.

Fortunately, after a week, her friends had had enough. Since BS had been lost on campus, they organized search parties and made posters. They stood on Locust handing out flyers and spoke to classes before the professors started teaching, all to search for Alex’s lost BS.

Alex, having finally gotten over her depression, could not stay idle. She scoured the floors of Huntsman Hall, checked behind every counter in 1920 Commons and even made her way to the dreaded DRL, trusty magnifying glass in hand, all to search for BS.

Finally, the day before graduation, she found him behind the Love Statue, battling with the Locust Hawk. Knowing the ferocity of the Scourge of Squirrels, she snatched BS out of the way and ran straight back to the Quad where, with the help of her friends, she managed to check BS over for fleas, wounds and mud.

As she was cleaning her newfound BS, however, Alex realized something extremely cliche.

Yes, in two days, she’d finally be able to call BS her own instead of knowing he was waiting for her in her parents’ house. But for all she’d slaved over her schoolwork for him, she’d really enjoyed college.

She’d made some amazing friends, met eccentric and brilliant people and participated in some things she’d never regret participating in (and some things she would). And while BS was totally worth graduating for, she’d really miss all that college had offered her.

And, as she looked around at her college friends a day before they would all disperse to their separate homes and jobs, she realized that, looking forward, people are what’s important in life — adorable corgis or not.

Christine Chen is a Wharton senior concentrating in actuarial science, operations and information management and legal studies and business ethics. She is from Downingtown, Pa. After graduating, Christine will be working at a law firm in Philadelphia for two years and plans to subsequently attend law school. Her email address is chrchen@wharton.upenn.edu.

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